Quality two-year-old Sword Of State and rider Opie Bosson made it a one-horse affair at Ellerslie on Saturday when they blitzed their rivals in the Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m).
Sent out a dominant $1.60 favourite off the back of a six-length win in the Gr.3 Waikato Stud Slipper (1200m) on his home track at Matamata last time out, the Snitzel colt never gave his rivals a look in, courtesy of a copybook effort from Bosson.
Bosson made full use of an inside barrier as he bounced Sword Of State straight to the front and set up a steady tempo as stablemate and second favourite On The Bubbles sat outside him.
On The Bubbles made his attack at the top of the straight and looked to be going well but Bosson was just foxing on Sword Of State who kicked away again at the 300m.
Bosson had an armchair ride over the final stages as Sword Of State extended away from a gallant On The Bubbles to win untouched by three lengths with classy filly Bonny Lass battling on gamely for third ahead of Magneto.
Trainer Jamie Richards was delighted to produce the quinella in the contest and to witness the improvement in the winner who had given the stable some problems early on in his preparation.
“He is a valuable colt now,” he said.
“Dave (Ellis) and Mark (Walker) picked him out on the Gold Coast and paid a fair bit of money for him, before syndicating him amongst some great people.
“It’s great to see him continuing to improve as he is bred to be out and running before Christmas, but it just wasn’t fitting together.
“We gave him a break and he has come back in great shape and is really going through the gears now.
“The race worked out as we had planned and he made the rail which is invaluable for a two-year-old.”
The Te Akau racing team now have a decision to make as the colt still holds a nomination for the Gr.1 Golden Slipper (1200m) next Saturday, with a flight to Sydney having been tentatively booked for the colt should he come through his exertions on Saturday in fine fettle.
“We’ll have a talk about Sydney in the next couple of days,” Richards said.
“Whether he is a Slipper horse I’m not sure, but he could well be a Sires’ Produce horse.
“We won’t make any decisions on raceday and will wait to see how he pulls up from his efforts today.”
Bosson was equally as impressed with his mount.
“On The Bubbles gave us a bit of a fright when he came up to us, but I gave my guy a squeeze and he (Sword Of State) came straight back underneath me,” Bosson said.
“He’s such a laid-back, professional little horse, you just have to love him.
“He’s not big but he is just a ball of muscle and a real professional racehorse.”
Raced by the Te Akau 2020 Four Colt Breeding Syndicate, Sword Of State has now won four of his five starts and over $174,000 in prizemoney after being purchased by David Ellis CNZM from the Gold Coast Yearling Sale in 2020. - NZ Racing Desk